1. Snake charmers, maharajas and elephant cabs outside the airport – if that’s how you see India, you may well be embarrassed at your ignorance. Pick up a guide and read a couple of pages before you arrive.
2. Ladies, unless you are on the beach, try and cover up as much as the weather permits while traversing the bazaars of the country. You’ll find yourself turning an uncomfortable shade of red when you find all eyes trained on you.
3. Try not to overdo the mobile camera bit. In India almost everyone has a mobile if not a smartphone. And that selfie stick, just chuck it. It shouts out, ‘I’m a tourist.’
4. Don’t click photographs of locals without their permission. Nothing is more embarrassing if the subject spots you doing that and protests. And if the subject’s husband sees you clicking away photographs of his beloved, man, you had it!
5. Limit your romance to your hotel room if possible. Kissing and hand holding in public is seen as highly inappropriate.
6. If you are in the rural areas of India greet people by folding both your hands together and saying ‘namaste’. Everybody knows that, I hope you do too! Moreover, unless you are very familiar with a local, avoid touching, patting on the back, etc.
7. Avoid touching anything with your feet. Basically books, image of a deity, anything of national importance, etc. should not come anywhere near your feet. While stomping a book is frowned upon, deliberately stomping an image of a God of any religion or the country’s national symbols might get you behind bars.
8. Never say cricket is boring. For the natives, cricket is a religion. So, if possible, watch a game or two before embarking on your trip to the country. Nothing else can guarantee an instant rapport with most locals than that!
9. Tattoos! If you intend to get your body inked, choose what you want carefully. Avoid tattoos of Gods or religious text inked on your lower back or feet or other unmentionable places. That’s a complete no-no.
10. Lastly, don’t embarrass yourself by asking someone at the airport, whether you’ll be able to lay your hands on a burger for the next two weeks. Well, see for yourself! Plus with such a delectable cuisine on offer, why would you want to still chew on that bread!